A Day at The Blue Lagoon

The Blue Lagoon is Iceland’s most famous geothermal spa. Located on lava fields in the Reykjanes Peninsula, the geothermal waters contain silica, algae, and additional minerals that are said to have healing effects on skin. Because of the many known benefits of visiting, the Blue Lagoon is popular among travelers and locals alike. The Blue Lagoon is also a convenient 15-minute drive from Keflavik International Airport and offers Icelandic comfort in the warm and healing waters.

I had the pleasure of trying out the Blue Lagoon after six days of adventurous touring and activities in the southwestern quarter of Iceland. I was feeling quite tired and sore from all of the physical activity, so a spa visit was exactly what I needed!

There are four different entries you can get to the Blue Lagoon: standard, comfort, premium, and luxury. Standard includes entrance to the Blue Lagoon, and the opportunity to try the silica mud mask. Comfort entry adds the use of a towel, the first drink of your choice, and an algae mask. The premium entry has all of these items plus the use of a bathrobe and slippers, a reservation at LAVA restaurant on the premises, and sparkling wine if you are dining at Lava. The luxury entry enjoys all of the amenities of the other entries, as well as a spa journey product set and entry to the exclusive Lounge. The exclusive lounge is private and offers a little more peace and calm than the main part of the spa.

When I arrived at the Blue Lagoon, the desk agent looked up my booking and handed me a waterproof bracelet. The bracelet, which has a chip in it that marks any add-ons I may want during my stay. I had a premium entry, so if I wanted to add on a second drink, the server at the bar would just scan it and I would not have to worry about paying for it until I turned the bracelet in upon departure. The desk agent warned us that the bracelets had a tendency to slip off if not clasped correctly, and we would have to pay to replace it if it got lost. I did discover that the hanging part of the strap sometimes caught onto things and made it slip, so I had to be careful of that while I was in the water.

After the brief disclaimer about the bracelet, the desk agent handed me my bathrobe and slippers and pointed me to the changing rooms and showers. The changing rooms are spacious and offer lockers where you can store your possessions. It would be best for visitors to pack your own bathing suit; however, if you forget, they are sold in the gift shop by the front desk. Due to Iceland’s high standards for hygiene, everyone is required to shower before entering the water. There are shampoo and conditioner containers stored in the showers. Although, the silica in the water is not harmful to skin or hair it will cause hair to dry out; thus they recommend dousing your hair in conditioner to protect it from drying. After my shower, I took my bathrobe and stepped outside, discarding the robe right before I stepped into the warm geothermal waters of the Blue Lagoon. The premium entry is well worth the cost; I know that if I had gone with the comfort entrance, I still would have added a bathrobe and slippers simply because it was a cold and windy day, and it was nice to be able to walk the short distance from the showers to the water with the bathrobe.

The water itself is 98-104 degrees Fahrenheit. Since it was such a windy day, the water sometimes blew so there were colder spots, but it only took a matter of shifting a few feet to get to a warm spot. I tried the ash, silica, and algae masks, which were all offered at the Silica Bar. The volcanic ash mask is meant for the face and body, it exfoliates dead skin. The second mask I tried, the silica mask is a white mud that cleanses, illuminates, and energizes the skin. I followed this with an the algae mask, which energizes and radiates the skin. You let each mask harden on the skin for an amount of time labeled at the bar of time before washing it off. I spent a little over an hour in the Blue Lagoon before I felt sufficiently relaxed and refreshed. After that, it was simply, a matter of showering again to get my hair properly conditioned and returning the bracelet to the desk agent. Before departing, a brief visit to the gift shop enticed me with silica-based spa products that would allow me to take the experience home with me.

Since pre-booking is required, the Blue Lagoon manages a comfortable capacity for its visitors. When I went to visit, it was a chillier day in mid-May. There were plenty of people in the Blue Lagoon, but I never felt that the Blue Lagoon was even close to full. I was able to move around without dodging people, and the lines to the masks were non-existent. I later asked if the spa had smaller numbers that day due to the high winds and cooler air temperatures, but I was told that the Blue Lagoon was in fact at full capacity when I visited.

I also stayed at the new Silica Hotel, which is a ten-minute walk from the Blue Lagoon. The Silica offers a shuttle service to and from the Blue Lagoon, but I preferred the idea of walking on the winding path across the lava fields and admiring the black rock and green moss in spite of the wind and chill. The Silica Hotel has its own private lagoon that is open most hours of the day. A bathrobe and slippers are provided for each guest in their rooms, so it is not unusual to see a guest walking about the lobby in this casual attire as they prep for some time in the private lagoon. I went to the private lagoon later in the evening and enjoyed a calmer atmosphere as I allowed myself to recover from a week of adventures that included horseback riding, snowmobiling, and hiking.

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